Google fixes two critical Chrome flaws

By Justin Mann on August 26, 2009, 3:49 AM
Update: We mistakenly reported earlier that one of the flaws in the Chrome browser could have lead to system-wide code execution. As one of its most significant built-in security measures, the Chrome browser adds an extra layer of security for HTML rendering and JavaScript execution called the sandbox. In other words, while the reported vulnerability could have resulted in unauthorized code execution, it would have been confined to the boundaries of the sandbox, according to Google's release documentation.

Without much fanfare, Google has pushed out an update for Chrome that will seal up two vulnerabilities which could have posed a serious risk. The flaws, present in the V8 JavaScript engine that Chrome relies upon, could result in data compromise or even worse, total system compromise through code execution.

One flaw pertained to potentially fraudulent HTTPS sessions, and the more dangerous of the two could be triggered by visiting a maliciously-crafted page with certain XML content. Google has pushed out version 2.0.172.43 of Chrome already, making it available for download to anyone who uses Chrome. If you haven't updated already, it's a good idea to snag it.

Interestingly, Google is crediting how they discovered the flaws. Mozilla's security team was apparently responsible for alerting Google to one problem, and a security researcher was credited with discovering the other. That may be only a small note, but it is encouraging to see browser developers working together in some fashion.




User Comments: 10

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strategic strategic, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Interesting, I wonder if this has anything to do with Google being so "nosy"...

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

doesn't Mozilla get its funding from Google? or did I misunderstand that in the past?

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

@red1776: Last I knew, the two had an agreement over Google being the default search provider for Firefox. I'm pretty sure they still have that locked down for a few years (unless something has changed). The last time I read anything about it (6+ months ago I believe) that deal made up some 80-90% of Mozilla's income.

strategic strategic, TechSpot Paladin, said:

doesn't Mozilla get its funding from Google? or did I misunderstand that in the past?

I guess you're right Red, I never knew that until I found this article.

Through revenue that comes from search ads, Google supplied Mozilla with $66 million of its $75 million in 2007 revenue, the last year for which figures are publicly available.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Matthew said:

@red1776: Last I knew, the two had an agreement over Google being the default search provider for Firefox. I'm pretty sure they still have that locked down for a few years (unless something has changed). The last time I read anything about it (6+ months ago I believe) that deal made up some 80-90% of Mozilla's income.

Thanks Matthew ,

i was just wondering then why it would be so 'interesting' that the Mozilla team would have discovered the flaw since they are financially joined ,and have a common interest in each others success.

Guest said:

There are two problems with this article:

* The flaws are rated "High", not "Critical". Perhaps your choice of "critical" was casual, but as it's a meaningful security rating, it's misleading.

* The flaws could not result in direct system compromise and arbitrary code execution because they were contained by the sandbox. Black hats would also need a flaw in the sandbox to break out of it, combined with one of these flaws, to do real damage. This is precisely why we created the sandbox: to provide defense in depth.

--Peter Kasting, Chromium developer

AndrestheBean AndrestheBean said:

There are two problems with this article:

* The flaws are rated "High", not "Critical". Perhaps your choice of "critical" was casual, but as it's a meaningful security rating, it's misleading.

* The flaws could not result in direct system compromise and arbitrary code execution because they were contained by the sandbox. Black hats would also need a flaw in the sandbox to break out of it, combined with one of these flaws, to do real damage. This is precisely why we created the sandbox: to provide defense in depth.

--Peter Kasting, Chromium developer

i get the feeling this guy is important.

Guest said:

I'm glad someone noticed the collaboration with Mozilla. There's a surprisingly large amount of behind-the-scenes collaboration between browser vendors. For example, this blog post illustrates some of the bi-directional sharing between Google and the other browser vendors:

http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2009/07/improving-w
b-browser-security.html

Chris Evans, Chrome Security Team

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@Guest (Peter) - Thank you for your feedback. We have updated the original post with a proper correction.

Phantasm66 Phantasm66 said:

That's cool you saw the article and corrected it Peter.

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